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Friday, April 01, 2011

Just Added to Gnu Favs: "Internalism Defended"

Dr. Conlee and Dr. Feldman define and defend the basic "internalist" thesis that beliefs are justified for a believer if there is sufficient evidence in the mind of the believer or in the believer's mental states. They thus hold that two people who are in the same mental states are justified in the same beliefs.

If S is the set of all the mental states a person has and if P has S and Q has S, the if b1 is a belief that is justified for P then b1 is also justified for Q and visa versa. And if b2 is a belief that is not justified for P then b2 is not justified for Q and visa versa.

Conlee and Feldman argue that many of the objections against internalism are based on perceiving that it implies epistemic obligations that are impossible to satisfy. The argue that this need not be the case. It is internalist enough to that if a person has sufficient evidence in mind, then they are justified in the belief thus evident. It is possible to agree with internalism but not with Clifford's ethics of belief.

This is an important claim towards an evidentialist apologetics.